Tonight, Sarah Palin was sharp, articulate, and connected with the middle class. The #1 political effect tonight will have is an important one for the McCain campaign: she shut the doubters up, and then some. In this important sense, she stopped the bleeding. I suspect that a very tough couple of weeks ends tonight, and it will be up to John McCain to get the comeback going next Tuesday.

Conservative weak sisters like Kathleen Parker and David Brooks can turn their pens in another direction. Tonight, they've been silenced. At the convention, I wrote this about Palin and the GOP establishment pundits and consultants:

But the fact still remains that if you are thrilled about Palin, you have a grassroots sensibility. If you are not, you have an elite/establishment sensibility. The delegates on the floor are the grassroots. Mike Murphy and Peggy Noonan are the elite. The dividing lines have always been there, but Palin provides the ultimate litmus test. ...

Palin injected a badly needed jolt of people power into the campaign. The maverick spirit is not gone. It's been reinforced in some key ways. McCain is still the same bipartisan guy he always was -- but Palin provides the grassroots with a reason to crawl on glass to make the phone calls and knock on doors and get out the vote. We didn't have that before. We have it now. Polls don't completely factor it in -- and the establishment tends to discount it as playing to the base. But it is the dark matter of campaigns -- that stuff that gives the campaign a good vibe that lets it put its best foot forward. 

Last night represented a triumph of grassroots politics in a campaign we thought had left it for dead. And just as with Republican icons before, the establishment will once again be proven timid and wrong.

A major contributing factor to conservative despair these last two weeks is that the fear that the Palin choice would be defined as a warped historical error. Conservative and grassroots leverage over the party would be gone, at least for the foreseeable future. Sarah was our gal, and if she messed it up, it would be a long time before the conservative narrative about the future of the GOP would be trusted again. Meanwhile, conservatives were being asked to depart from principle in supporting the bailout. It was a wrenching and sobering couple of weeks.

Just as with her brilliant RNC speech, Palin did not let us down. And once again, she becomes the hope of the ticket and a standardbearer for the young guns who include Jindal, Portman, Cantor, McCarthy, Ryan, and many more.

Palin can no longer be defined as a liability in any meaningful political or analytical sense. Her claim to leadership in the next Right stands stronger than ever.

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Comments

We can stop mourning the loss

We can stop mourning the loss of our future.  We thought we had out Thatcher.  All the elites - in both parties (and no party at all, as Sarah would say) - combined in an attempted virtual assassination.  They failed.  I don't think they'll get another chance. 

Unqualified sarah may have halted her downfall but

I caution against too much excitement.  I don't think debate will change the trajectory of the race. As a moderate Obama supporter I went into the evening hoping she wouldn't embarass herself further and she didn't.  I give her credit for the amount she has learned in a few weeks to respond to debate questions, but she lacks the breadth of knowledge needed to be qualified for president. 

Her biggest gaffe to date in my book was the vacuous response to Couric's question re what publications she relies on for news.  As an elementary school teacher  I could rattle off half a dozen publications I read on a frequent  basis - WaPo,  NYT, both twin cities papers, newsweek, economist, atlantic.  There are many  more I could add to the list with an acknowledgement of their liberal slant- american prospect, Nation, TNR, Slate, Salon. I also quite frequently click over to NRO (mostly corner blog)

I believe that before her intensive tutorials of the past few weeks, I had greater depth of knowledge than Palin on many issues.  That is a scary notion. I prefer my president to be an intellectual elite, who is WAY smarter than me  (Rhodes scholar or Harvard law type.)  I read this blog frequently because posters seem knowledgable and not total GOP party hacks and I strive for at least slight balance to to my sources of  news/analysis.

oxymoronic moderate

"I give her credit for the amount she has learned in a few weeks to respond to debate questions, but she lacks the breadth of knowledge needed to be qualified for president. "

Palin knows a few basic things that Obama never learned. Obama lacks the qualifications to be President based on his extreme left-wing ideological moorings.

" I prefer my president to be an intellectual elite, who is WAY smarter than me  (Rhodes scholar or Harvard law type.) "

Obama got bad grades. the biggest secret of this campaign is the fact that Obama's grades were as bad as Biden's grades (also miserable). Media wont share his grades. Just try to find them, you cant. Reason is, Obama  got affirmative action advantages. His drug use really hurt his grades. Elite yes, intellectual - only in the sense of absorbing faculty-lounge marxism, not in the sense of ever having an original thought.

BTW - What makes lawyers WHO RUN NOTHING BIGGER THAN THEIR FAT MOUTHS qualified to be President? 

Sarah Palin has run a city, our largest state and a business. And raised 5 kids.

All Obama has really done is be a leftwing activist, run for office, and vote 'present' while running for the next office. He has spent 4 of the last 6 years JUST RUNNING FOR OFFICE.

So again, what on earth makes a man with NO EXECUTIVE EXPERIENCE and NO RECORD OR ACCOMPLISHMENTS save a few piddling bullet points qualified?

Obama is a ZERO!

 

Thing is, that's a gottcha question.

 You say "Oh, NYT, Post, Sun..." and the interviewer says "So, what about that article on XYZ the Times had on Wednesday?"

 

No one does more navelgazing than the press, so they're always going to know more recent trivia that you are. You might think I'm kidding, but it's a sign of an unfriendly reporter. 

"I prefer my president to be

"I prefer my president to be an intellectual elite, who is WAY smarter than me  (Rhodes scholar or Harvard law type.)"

So in other words, you prefer to be the subject of your betters. Well that worked, in medieval Europe. America is a country where (at least in theory) the citizens rule, via their elected proxies. I don't want someone "smarter" than me, I want someone who will act as I would. This represents the fundamental difference between current progressive and conservative thought. . Progressives believe that the government/elites/the educated class knows whats best for the rest of us, conservatives believe that people know what's best for themselves. People "way smarter" than everyone else have created most of the world's problems by knowing what was best for the rest of us, regardless of how we thought or felt about it. Which makes the fake class warfare that progressives engage in so amusing; we're supposed to listen to professionals, unless they're guys who have actually built businesses and made fortunes, you know, actually measurably accomplished something outside of government or academia, in which case they're "greedy corporate fat cats".

 

A Tale Of Two Sarahs

I rather doubt whether Team McCain is smart enough to plan this out in advance.

By letting Mrs. Palin get sound bitten by ABC and CBS, and then bad mouthed by everyone from National Review to Radio Moscow, there now exists TWO Sarah Palins. The first is a fictitious media invention: a brunette version of that vapid Miss Teen USA contestant from South Carolina. The second is the articulate woman people see on TV giving speeches and debating and connecting with the American people directly.

As a result of Mrs. Palin's abuse by the drive-by media, Team McCain increased the tune-in factor to see what this woman is about. And then she gots a chance to speak directly to the American people.

So, who you going to believe, the mainstream media or your lying eyes?

Waaaaaay too much talk about how she "did" vs what she said

It seems to me there are an awful lot of folks who think it's now ok again to vote gop, because they now feel less terrified that she might be president some day.  But the fact remains that despite her looks and "freshness", she's really starting to look and sound very similar to GW Bush... all she's missing is the powerful daddy.  But she was really just alot of talk... it almost didnt seem to matter what the question was... she had her list of schtick written by somebody else & she was gonna get through the stack, one way or the other.  All she showed is that she can memorize talking points & regurgitate on command without looking foolish, but that's just not good enough.  We just finished 8 years with 'the average guy who's kinda just like me", & he royally screwed up all the really big decisions.  We dont need 4 more years of down homeyness.  I just dont get how ANYONE could actually think she should be within 1,000 miles of the whitehouse, let alone possibly be "the decision maker" for us all at some point.  If we dont start acting like decent world citizens and stop sending aircraft carriers and marines around the world to do our diplomacy for us, there's a reasonable chance we're gonna get a nuke up the ass in DC one of these days, and I for one REALLY DO NOT want Palin in charge with a room full of generals in a bunker telling her "what her options are".... holy dont go there Batman!  She'd pull the trigger & start a round of nuclear holy wars... no thanks!

In other words the only thing you have to offer is fear itself!

Ridcilous, irrational fear which is all leftists can do to win elections.  They have to scare you into giving up your freedoms so they can become "our betters".   My advice to you take a chill pill and actually think for yourself (instead of parroting the partyline) for once in youir life.

Well, Joe Biden seemed impressed by her performance

This is the verbatim text of his post debate money begging e-mail

If you saw tonight's debate, you saw Governor Sarah Palin give a spirited defense of the same disastrous policies that have failed us for the past eight years.

She couldn't identify a single area where she or John McCain would change George W. Bush's economic or foreign policy positions.

If you want something different, Barack and I need your help.

Will you make a donation of $25 or more right now to bring about the change we need?
 

Funny, since the most salient "disastrous policy" for the Democrats was Iraq, why should Biden have any grounds to complain, having voted for the war authorization?

 

 

Once again I say...

...these debates have morphed into nothing more than a beauty pageant for the benefit of the msm and political pundits.  The general voting population is unmoved for the most part.  Palin did what she had to do and then some. 

Palin took John McCains boring, unstimulative stances/positions on the issues and "decorated" them.  Made them appear a little less boring.  No small task.   And therein lies the problem.

McCain and his handlers are not "stimulating" the voting populace with their lukewarm, curdled positions.  The blame can't be pinned on Palin.  There are some things that the McCain camp could do to turn it around but they won't listen.  And there is so little time.  

My advice to Palin?  Strap on a life jacket, Sarah honey.  You've boarded a sinking ship. Salvage what you can for 2012.   DD

Sara Palin is an American

Biden is a professional politician, as is his boss-to-be Barry Obama. McCain is a Johnny Come Lately to politics, a professional warrior turned maverick wanna-be. Sarah is a real American citizen who has decided to represent her fellow Americans. No one, not even her political running mate, can really understand the majority of Americans they hope to represent as well as she can. She is not a phony, she is the real thing. She comes from the "fly over" part of America. That is why all the professional DC types hate her--to include the so-called Conservatives from National Review, Weekly Standard, all the clowns who threw away Ronald Reagan's legacy of Conservative values. Sadly, she tied her future to a losing cause--John McCain ("McLame"). A bad fate for a great person.

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